TV company Trialeti has accused the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) of pressure. On March 21 the TV company released a statement pointing out that at 21:00 hrs Trilaeti TV Director John Nanetashvili received a call by GNCC representative, someone named Nika Tabatadze requesting Trialeti TV director to meet him in the street to hand the warning letter over. Even though John Nanetashvili argued that “the handover of the official document in the street within non-working hours is not normal,” the meeting was held.
“We believe, that like the Chamber of Control, following the method applied by the authorities, summoning TV company director at the Gamgeoba premises to be passed the warning protocol over, was an attempt of threat. The authorities, in particular, their representative, GNCC Chair Irakli Chikovani is trying to influence the TV operation in whole through pressure upon Trialeti multi channel broadcasting. We believe it’s another case of meddling into the activities of free media,” reads the TV company statement. Trialeti TV management calls upon diplomats, Public Defender of Georgia, NGOs and public representatives to respond to the aforementioned case.
In regard to the given occurrence Media.ge talked to the GNCC’s Press Secretary Khatia Kurashvili. No kind of pressure, she said, has been exerted on TV company Trialeti.
“Trialeti TV made a request to the Commission to conduct monitoring in relation to frequencies to find out whether TV company Dia breached the law. In response to the request GNCC conducted monitoring at TV tower in Gori, as well as the one in Khashuri on March 20. As a result of the monitoring Trialeti TV turned out to own some relay lines but the company is additionally using other relay lines for relay connection. No violation has been found in case of Dia. In regard to this very issue GNCC representatives, upon the completion of the monitoring, at about 20:00 hrs, requested John Nanetashvili to sign the act of inspection. The procedure lasted until 9 pm,” said Khatia Kurashvili reporting to Media.ge.
Nika Tabatadze, named by John Nanetashvili, is not working at the Commission, Khatia Kurashvili clarified. Together with the monitoring team Nikoloz Kondoleli of the Commission was visiting Gori. He is the one having met John Nanetashvili.
The accusations made against the Commission, says Khatia Kurashvili, are absurd and finding a violation does not mean pressure, or imposition of fine or sanction. In regard to the given issue the Commission should invite interested individuals, the experts having conducted monitoring, as well as Trialeti TV representatives and reach a decision at the pubic sitting.